The daily feeding routine started as usual with Bud and Pepper exiting the pasture, finding their respective feed pans and going to work making their delicious medicine-dosed grain disappear.

Bud is all business when it comes to eating. Once he starts, he doesn’t look up until the pan is clean as a whistle. There’s no dilly-dallying with this guy.

Pepper is a different story. First off she’s a picky eater. If she catches even a whiff of something not quite right (as in medicine in her food), she won’t eat. And she eats slowly, chewing each bite with great care. She likes to look around. Eating is a social event for our girl. Think sitting at a small café in Paris with a café au lait and croissant. That would be Pepper.

So on the day I referenced at the beginning of this post, I thought something was up because Pepper seemed nervous. She wasn’t doing her regular Pepper-eating-behavior. She’d take a bite and then stare into the pasture. A few times she walked away from her feed pan and I had to re-direct her back to eating.

Then I saw him.

Fred.

The boyfriend.

Bud’s nemesis.

Pepper’s summer fling.

He was standing a few yards inside the gate, trying to look nonchalant, but definitely waiting for Pepper.

He’s learned he’s not welcome when we’re around.

But he was there, doing his Svengali thing – sending thought waves to Miss P.

She couldn’t eat; couldn’t concentrate.

All she seemed to want to do was get back to you-know-who.

That’s when I had the girlfriend heart to heart talk with her. I tried telling her she should never endanger her health for a male.

Any male.

If it were a healthy relationship, he’d want her to eat her grain and keep her weight up.

But I wasn’t having much luck.

She was responding to a call much older than any Feminism rhetoric.

Survival of the herd.

It’s hard wired into her and I can’t blame her.

Though I’m not all that happy about her behavior either.

But it seems she and Bud have a system. Most of the month, Pepper hangs out with the Herd of Oldsters.

They’re her friends.

Her security.

Her family.

When she comes into her cycle (sorry but I had to say it) she becomes part of Fred’s harem.

It seems to be working.

There’s no more drama.

Bud appears quite blasé about the arrangement.

Red and Amigo are no longer afraid.

And really, who am I to interfere with Mother Nature?

If you have relationship advice for Pepper (or Bud) please leave it in the comment section below. Both have told me they’re open to hearing from you!

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